The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) has christened its newest expeditionary sea base (ESB) ship, the future USNS John L Canley (ESB-6).

A christening ceremony was held at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Corporation (NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, California on 25 June.

ESB-6 is named after the US Marine Corps (USMC) gunnery sergeant John L Canley.

He received the Navy Cross, which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honour, for his bravery during the Vietnam war in 1968.

During the ceremony, the vessel’s sponsor Patricia Sargent broke a bottle of champagne over the ship’s bow. She is the daughter of the ship’s namesake.

MSC Ship Management director Thomas Kiss said: “Navy forces are more important than ever in building global security, projecting power, deterring foes, and rapidly responding to crises that affect our national security.

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“This expeditionary sea base will do all those things and much more, providing our leadership with options and manoeuvre space; and supporting Joint Force through a unique combination of aviation support, equipment staging, command and control, and most importantly, a well-trained crew.”

The MSC is set to take delivery of ESB-6 later this year.

Prior to handing over, the vessel will undergo evaluations and qualifications in order to prepare it for supporting various maritime operations, including humanitarian assistance and traditional military operations.

The 784ft USNS John L Canley is the sixth ESB vessel being developed for MSC and the third expeditionary staging base model.

Once delivered, ESB-6 will primarily support special operations forces missions and airborne mine countermeasures support operations.